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Old 12-08-2011, 06:15 PM   #1
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Hi all. Hoping you could help before this project goes from bad to worse. Short version...hired a reputable contractor to paint the exterior of our house last year. This year, I noticed peeling paint in a few places and asked him to come out and take a look. He did and said he would return to do some touch-up, which he did two months later. He insisted it was warm enough (I expressed concern about temp). We were gone for the weekend and returned to find the side of the house looking like this (see attachments). I almost stroked out on the front step.

So, theories? Ways to fix this mess? I left a message to have him come out and look at the job. BTW, despite the two pink rows of paint, the house is actually a brick red. Or it's supposed to be.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:57 PM   #2
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Looks like moisture/dew stuck to the fresh paint and bleached out the color, or, it could be a result of cold temps causing condensation which again may have bleached out the color. There is a technical term for this which escapes me for the moment. In any event, you have a problem which he will need to fix (again). There are paints made that are resistant to the moisture situation which you have encountered. Resilience from Sherwin-Williams comes to mind. Even if your contractor used a low temp/high moisture type paint, it could still have resulted in a "not-so-good" situation. Best to wait for consistent temps at least in the 60's to be on the safe side........which is my advice for now.......let it go until spring and then have him come back and fix it. Don't be too hard on your contractor......we all make bad judgements like this from time to time. He was trying to please his customer & the weather got in the way.

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Old 12-08-2011, 07:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for your input. I'm not mad, just frustrated because I brought up the temp issue months ago. The house is on the market, and the current paint condition makes it un-showable. Do you think I can scrub the drips off and just leave the weirdly discolored stripes or will I make it worse? Thanks again for your help.
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:15 PM   #4
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I believe the word that gymschu is looking for is dew point. This is a common problem when paint is applied when the surface temp becomes cold enough for water vapor to condense. I will agree that the contractor was trying to satisfy the customer and pushed the limits of the paint on a non-paying warranty repair. Wait for a better day when the temp will be 50 and rising before trying to repaint. The surface temp should be at least 5 degrees above the dew point and rising also.
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:35 AM   #5
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Meg, since you're trying to get this house on the market and need this done ASAP, is there any way you can cover that area with a tarp during and after you touch-up/repaint? If so, you would be able to pump some sort of heat inside the tarp to allow the paint to dry properly. Not the best solution, but it may be an option if you can use a safe heat source. By safe, I mean something you could ventilate properly so the fumes don't kill off the painter or ignite paint fumes or burn the house down!
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:07 AM   #6
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That is refered to as Surfactant leaching and will happen with dew getting on paint that hasn't dried enough. It just looks worse in your case because it was red. Painting over it will fix it but you MUST let it dry a good few hours before the temp hits the dew point.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:41 AM   #7
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Thanks Matthew, I couldn't come up with the technical term to save my life!

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